Arizona governor hits Napolitano on immigration bill

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) Wednesday night took a swipe at her immediate predecessor, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, on the controversial immigration bill she signed last week.

Napolitano served as a Democratic governor of Arizona from 2003-2009 before being tapped as homeland security chief by the Obama administration. She has expressed concern that the law -- which requires Arizona law enforcement officials to check the documentation of people they suspect are illegal immigrants -- is not a good policy and has said that the Justice Department is looking into it to see if it is constitutional.

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“She obviously is turning a blind eye to Arizona. She understands what the situation is. She wrote numerous letters when she was governor to the administration looking for help and some relief," Brewer said in an appearance on Fox News. "

Napolitano's comments echo those of President Barack Obama, who has called the law "misguided" and warned that it could lead to racial profiling. 

Brewer has said that safeguards are in place so that profiling does not occur. Still, the law has become a lightning rod in Congress, causing several members to call on leadership to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. 

Almost all Democrats and several Republicans have criticized the law, but other GOPers say that Arizona has the right to pass the law and enforce it and others have openly supported it.

The governor has said she signed the law due to the failure of federal officials to act to enforce immigration laws.

A preliminary plan coming through the Senate is said to have benchmarks for border security before other provisions take effect. Brewer took exception to Napolitano's comment that the southern border, which has seen a recent uptick in violence, is "as secure now as it's ever been."

"For her to make the comment that she made that the borders are… more secure than they have ever been – well they’ve never been secure," Brewer said. "We are a gateway for every illegal immigration and criminal element into the United States."